It was the last kind of hat trick the hockey world in Richmond wanted to see.
On the heels of the postponement of the 2020 CARHA Hockey World Cup, BC Hockey’s Midget Girls Provincial Championships and the Richmond Ravens’ Ice Classic tournament were cancelled on Thursday. All three decisions were in relation to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The provincials and Ice Classic events were scheduled for next week at the Richmond Ice Centre. Since they were both season-ending competitions they will not be re-scheduled. The decision was finalized after an announcement by Hockey Canada to suspend all sanctioned activity.
“Without question, this an unprecedented period of difficulty for the sports world. The health and safety of all participants in sport, including players, coaches, staff, officials, fans, family, volunteers and the general public, is of the utmost importance to Hockey Canada,” said Hockey Canada’s Tom Renney, Chief Executive Officer, and Scott Smith, President and Chief Operating Officer in a prepared statement.
“We recognize the tremendous effort that has been put forth all year by individuals across the country as they participate in Canada’s game. Although it is difficult to process the hockey season ending abruptly, we feel this is the best course of action in order to do our part in keeping our country safe.”
We are sad to see that the remainder of the season, including our #IceClassic tournament and Provincial Championships, have been cancelled.— Richmond Ravens (@rmdravens) March 13, 2020
But we know the decision was made with everyone's best interest in mind. Until next season, keep looking out for each other. https://t.co/k9mO9JODvS
This Ravens were considered the favourites at the provincials. They were the defending champions and earlier won the Pacific Coast Amateur Hockey Association league and playoff banners.
All three tournaments were also going to make a significant impact on local economy with plenty of out-of-town participants. The CARHA World Cup alone involved teams from 15 countries and nearly 3,000 athletes. It at least will be re-scheduled sometime in 2021.
The Greater Vancouver Canadians — second place finishers of the new BC Major Bantam Hockey League — won’t be having playoffs either. They played out of the Richmond Olympic Oval and have a number of city players on their roster.
Thursday’s also immediately suspended the Canadian Sport Hockey League Championships that were already underway in Penticton. Also halted were the BC Hockey League and Pacific Junior Hockey League playoffs.
The Cyclone Taylor Cup Provincial Junior “B” Championship was also scheduled for 100 Mile House in mid-April. The Delta Hawks are expected to be rewarded the 2021 tournament but now tough decisions await BC Hockey on what to do with the host cities of the 2020 championships.